A treatment plan using alternative medicine may be effective for some people with high blood pressure. Learn about herbs and supplements that may be beneficial.

Cardiovascular diseases are the second leading cause of death in France. Hypertension plays an important role in cardiovascular disease by increasing the risk of life-threatening events such as heart attacks and strokes. As doctors increasingly write prescriptions to treat the growing number of patients with high blood pressure, some people are turning to alternative medicine to help them manage the condition.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as long as people don’t try to use herbs and supplements to replace prescribed medications. This is because there are no herbs or supplements that can directly treat hypertension.

Rather, what alternative therapies can offer patients is a way to treat some of the underlying processes in the body that can contribute to what is known as essential, or primary, hypertension, which n is not caused by other diseases.

A few herbs and supplements show promise for reducing factors that contribute to high blood pressure, such as stiffness in the arteries and inflammation. However, it is important to choose them carefully. Some may contain ingredients not listed on the label, or alternative high blood pressure treatment may interact with prescribed or over-the-counter medications. To be on the safe side, always consult your doctor before starting any new treatment.

Alternative medicine for blood pressure

The following herbs and supplements may be beneficial for treating some of the underlying causes of high blood pressure:


This Northern European herb has been used for centuries as a remedy for heart disease. Some small human studies have shown hawthorn to be effective in reducing inflammation and arterial stiffness, resulting in modest reductions in blood pressure. However, other small studies have found hawthorn to be less effective. In hypertension, the arterial walls show low-grade inflammation, which means that the blood vessels contract and do not dilate naturally. Compounds in hawthorn can help relax these arterial walls. Hawthorn may interact with digoxin, a drug used to treat certain heart conditions.

fish oil

Fish oil has been touted as an interesting dietary supplement because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which, among other things, have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has shown fish oil to be particularly effective at reducing systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries when the heart beats. Fish oil also has the benefit of reducing triglycerides, a type of fat in the body that can be dangerous at high levels.

Many studies show that diet is the most effective way to get the benefits of omega-3 sources like fish oil. Due to the high cost of wild fish and concerns about the mercury content of cheaper farmed fish, it is also recommended to consume dietary supplements from reputable sources. Supplements must come from a source that checks the levels of mercury in fish oil.


Compounds in garlic help regulate the immune response involved in the inflammatory process and have been shown to lower lipid levels. Supplements with kyolic aged garlic extract, which comes from organically grown garlic bulbs aged for more than 20 months at room temperature, may be particularly beneficial. A recent meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials found that kyolic aged garlic extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure and so-called diastolic blood pressure, the “bottom number” that indicates blood pressure. exerted by the blood on the arterial walls when the heart rests between beats.


There is plenty of evidence showing that a diet rich in magnesium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. The role of magnesium as an alternative treatment for hypertension is intimately linked to calcium. Arterial smooth muscle needs calcium to contract, but people with hypertension tend to accumulate calcium in these muscles, hence the widespread use of calcium channel blocker drugs. Magnesium is considered a natural calcium channel blocker: it opposes the effects of calcium by relaxing the arterial muscle. Some healthcare professionals have not had much success with magnesium as a specific treatment for hypertension.

A recent study suggests that the effectiveness of magnesium may depend on the person taking it. This review looked at data from 49 trials testing the impact of magnesium on people with normal blood pressure, people with untreated hypertension, patients whose blood pressure is not well controlled with medication and patients whose medication is used to control blood pressure. Although magnesium has not always helped people with untreated hypertension, this supplement has seemed to help improve blood pressure in patients whose hypertension was not well controlled by prescribed medications.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) supplement is also involved in smooth muscle contraction, specifically in the efficiency of contraction. Coenzyme Q10 increases the activity of the mitochondria, which are the seat of energy production, and therefore essentially gives more energy to the heart muscle. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly which people might benefit the most from taking this supplement to help manage the underlying causes of high blood pressure.

A recent meta-analysis of data from 17 clinical trials found that Co-Q10 helped lower systolic blood pressure in people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes, for example. However, a previous meta-analysis found moderate-quality evidence that Co-Q10 does not have a significant clinical impact on people with primary hypertension.

Folic acid

Folic acid is sometimes given as an alternative treatment for hypertension due to its effects on arterial walls. There is evidence that the accumulation of the amino acid homocysteine ​​in the blood can damage these walls. Folic acid, usually given in combination with vitamins B6 or B12, reduces homocysteine ​​levels. A recent meta-analysis of 22 studies involving over 40,000 patients found that folic acid supplements significantly reduced systolic blood pressure.

What you must remember

Dietary supplements are not tested and regulated as strictly as prescription or over-the-counter drugs. In fact, manufacturers can market a supplement without having to prove its safety or effectiveness. Furthermore, much of what we know about the potential benefits of herbs and dietary supplements for managing the underlying causes of hypertension is based on laboratory tests, animal studies, or small blood tests. male. That’s why, before resorting to any alternative hypertension treatment, you should educate yourself about supplements and discuss potential interactions and side effects with your GP.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.